The biggest rail corridor overhaul in Victoria’s history will continue this winter, with signalling, power and platforms all to be upgraded in preparation for High Capacity Metro Trains.
From Saturday 30 June to Sunday 8 July, a nine-day construction blitz will see buses replace trains between Westall and Pakenham, and over two weekends on the Cranbourne line.
V/Line Traralgon and Bairnsdale services into Melbourne will be replaced by coaches for the entire journey. Additional direct coaches between Warragul, Drouin and Parliament Stations will also run during peak times.
A similar occupation will be planned for August, with details of blitz to be provided to passengers in the coming weeks.
Crews will take advantage of the rail line closure to replace ageing infrastructure with several kilometres’ worth of new overhead wiring and support structures between Narre Warren and Beaconsfield. Platforms at Dandenong, Hallam and Pakenham stations will be extended to accommodate longer trains, and signalling works will continue between Dandenong and Pakenham.
After decades of neglect, significant upgrades are urgently needed to boost flagging reliability while creating room for more passengers on bigger and more frequent trains.
During 2017, a combined 328 hours of delays resulted from signal faults on the Cranbourne/Pakenham line – Melbourne’s busiest – much of it linked to outdated, deteriorating infrastructure.
Crews will also work to join main line tracks to a new high capacity train depot under construction at Pakenham East. On track for completion by the end of 2018, the state of the art depot will provide stabling for the new fleet of trains while supporting more than 100 skilled, ongoing jobs.
The massive investment currently needed along the Cranbourne, Pakenham and Sunbury corridors – including 65 longer trains, the Metro Tunnel and level crossing removals – will create room for more trains more often, meaning an extra 234,000 passengers can travel each morning peak.
High capacity metro trains will be able to carry 20 per cent more passengers than any other trains on the network, and will progressively enter service from mid-2019. During this disruption, V/Line will complete important track, structure and signal maintenance along the Gippsland line.
For more information visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“Some of the equipment across the network belongs in a museum – so we’re not wasting a minute to deliver these vital upgrades.”
“These works allow us to run more trains more often on our busiest lines and provide a more reliable service for passengers across the network.”
“We thank passengers for their understanding as we get on with delivering these critical upgrades to get Victorians home safer and sooner.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020